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Columbia chorus records, takes songs on the road

Dani Breitbarth leads the Columbia Chorus in its "Winter Songs" concert. (CONTRIBUTED)
Dani Breitbarth leads the Columbia Chorus in its “Winter Songs” concert. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Teenagers, senior citizens and families got a good dose of Christmas cheer this season from the fifth- and sixth-grade chorus at Columbia Elementary School.

The chorus presented its “Winter Songs” program at “Breakfast With Santa” on Dec. 7 at Bob Jones High School, Columbia PTA meeting on Dec. 9 and Madison Village retirement community, 6016 Wall Triana on Dec. 10. The chorus has 22 fifth-graders and seven sixth-graders.

Music educator Dani Breitbarth said her students reacted very well performing in front of a large audience. “A few experienced nervous jitters but many students were confident and excited.”

“Can we do it again?” many students asked after their program. One student said his favorite aspect about chorus is performing on stage and entertaining people.

Several pieces in “Winter Songs” involved two-part harmony. Columbia performed “Winter Light” (Amy Bernon), “No School Tomorrow (If It Snows)” with choreography (Jay Althouse), “The Reindeer Rap” (Sally Albrecht), “Cooroo, Cooroo” (Steven Kupferschmid) and “Happy Holidays!” (Mary Lynn Lightfoot).

Breitbarth chose a mix of slow/upbeat tempos with narrators and some solos. “On the ‘Reindeer Rap,’ we added costumes and used buckets as drums to create rhythm,” she said. In “May You Always Have a Song,” the message is “keep music and passion in your life.”

Sun Goodloe accompanied the chorus.

In other work, the Columbia Chorus recorded “The National Anthem” for morning announcements. Several choir members sang the anthem at the Astro Run fundraiser.

 

Breitbarth commended her students’ diligent work. “I want my students to see how music can be used to communicate with all types of people and how it can give back to the community.”

In choir performances, students apply music concepts from class. Choir work even benefits Breitbarth as a teacher by sharing music to promote the arts.

Citing choir’s impact on academics, Breitbarth said music develops communication, collaboration and creativity. Students must “use their own cognitive thinking skills to communicate and add expression to the finished product.”

 

Columbia Chorus is open to all fifth- and sixth-graders without auditions.

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